The Celebrity Housemates reality TV show seemed like a breath of fresh air and a good idea as at the time it aired on television stations across the country.
The concept of the show seemed similar to that of Big Brother. The only twist was that the house was filled with Nigerian celebrities like Eniola Badmus who later emerged as the winner, Ruggedman, Doris Simeon, Junior Pope, etc.
While the show was going on, other celebrities weighed in their support and canvassed for their friends to take home the prize and this gave the show more credibility and followership.
However, despite the laudable idea, those who were part of the reality television show have not been paid by the producer of the show, Kemi Otegbade, even though it ended on February 11.
From a Whatsapp message that emanated from popular rapper, Ruggedman’s phone number, the producer of the show issued a dud cheque to the participants of the show.
The message read, “The producer of the just concluded Celebrity Housemates reality TV show, Kemi Otegbade, is a wanted woman.
Word reaching us is that since the show ended on the 11th of February 2018, she issued dud cheques to the finalists. Cheques that have since bounced upon presentation in the bank and she has switched off her phone since then, leaving the winner Eniola Badmus and the runners-up Ruggedman, Chelsea Eze, Jnr Pope, Yomi Fashlanso and Doris Simeon searching for her. More information has it that the police are about to get involved because it is a crime to give out dud cheques.”
In a telephone conversation with the rap artiste and clothier, he said that he did not want to speak much on the matter because a petition was already being written to the Nigeria Police. “I was not actually the one that originated the post, I just sent it out the way I received it. I learnt that the woman has been doing everything she can to rectify the situation but if that is true, how come she switched off her phone since February? Till date, she has not reached out to anybody even though we have tried to reach her. I have been in constant communication with all the contestants to know if they have been paid but nobody has received anything yet. Everybody’s cheque bounced. As we speak, we are already writing a petition to the police over the matter,” he said.
While the winner of the show, Eniola Badmus, did not pick calls made to her phone or respond to the text message sent to her, another contestant on the show, Doris Simeon through a text message acknowledged that she had not yet been paid for her participation.
She simply said, “I am not talking because I do not even have a cheque yet. I was meant to be credited directly.”
However, when Saturday Beats called Kemi Otegbade’s number, it did not go through but her lawyer, Demola Ijaoba, spoke on her behalf.
“I am fairly aware of what transpired. In respect of the matter, I am ordinarily not supposed to talk to you because I am a lawyer and I do not want to be a part of any press issue. However, a letter has been written to the participants from our office explaining the circumstances surrounding the non-payment of their fees and it is due to unavailability of funds. They have our letter, so I am surprised that instead of reverting to us, I am getting a call from you. I am very surprised but this is all I can say,” he said.
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